What is Vision Therapy?
It’s never too early (or late) to identify “hidden” vision problems wherever they exist.
Optometric Vision Therapy is a doctor-supervised, non-surgical, and customized program of visual and physical activates designed to correct problems that are related to vision. This process is designed for children and adults that suffer from issues that might arise with the connection between their eyes and brain. Unlike eyeglasses and contact lenses which compensate for vision problems, or eye surgery that alters the anatomy of the eye or surrounding muscles, vision therapy aims to “teach” the visual system to correct itself. This treatment is “retraining” or improving the way the brain and eyes work together to be able to process information simultaneously and accurately.
Developing visual skills includes learning to use both eyes together, for example, having both eyes move, align, fixate, and focus as a team enhances the ability to interpret and understand the potential visual information.
Dr. Rousseau provides comprehensive developmental vision evaluations, dyslexia testing, and complete vision therapy services. This area of the practice is devoted to identifying the underlying issues that may be interfering with one’s ability to read and learn without unnecessary struggling.
Benefits of Vision Therapy
During this process, Dr. Rousseau will assign you/your child tasks to complete. This might include using different lenses, prisms, filters, metronomes, and for some, physical activities like skipping and jumping rope. Each patient is different and the program is customized to him or her.
Following the plan developed by Dr. Rousseau and with proper compliance by the patient, the results will soon begin to appear, but give it time though as this is not an overnight process.
Underlying Problems Vision Therapy Can Correct
Vision problems being treated with vision therapy include:
- Amblyopia. Also called “lazy eye,” amblyopia is a vision development problem where the eyes don’t “work” together. The nerve pathways are interrupted sending signals from the eye to the brain. The brain tends to favor one eye resulting in a wandering eye.
- Strabismus. Strabismus is a visual problem that results in the eyes not aligning properly or point in different directions.
- Other binocular vision problems. Subtle eye alignment problems called phorias that may not produce a visible eye turn but still can cause eye strain and eye fatigue when reading and can also be minimized or corrected with vision therapy.
- Eye movement disorders. Studies have shown vision therapy can improve the accuracy of eye movements used during reading and other close-up work.
- Accommodative (focusing) disorders. Other research shows near-far focusing skills can be improved with vision training.
- Other problems. Other vision problems for which vision therapy may be effective include visual-perceptual disorders, vision problems associated with developmental disabilities and vision problems associated with acquired brain injury (such as from a stroke or traumatic brain injury).